Let us find your solution Best 10 Property Management Systems 2021 | Find Hotel PMS Reviews, Pricing, Buying Guide
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Marriott
Denihan Hospitality Group
Fairmont
starwood
The Standard
Ace Hotel
Kimpton
Accor Hotels
Ace Hotel
Ace Hotel

What is a Hotel Property Management System? (Hotel PMS Basics) A property management system (PMS) is a hotel management software suite that property owners and front desk workers use to manage their business by coordinating reservations, online booking availability, payments, and reporting in one central place. The Hotel PMS streamlines operations for front office staff and guest services in a hotel business to check-in and check-out guests, see room availability, make adjustments to existing reservations, and even can have back office functionality (schedule housekeeping or maintenance ). With a c... Read the full Property Management Systems software overview

10 Best Property Management Systems

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Hoteliers voted Cloudbeds as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Cloudbeds PMS

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
100 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Cloudbeds’ property management system (PMS), is a cloud-based front desk for your property. With it, you can check-in and check-out guests using an attractive drag-and-drop inte...

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Geography: Global Verified Customer Support: Yes No
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Hoteliers voted Cloudbeds as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Hoteliers voted Clock Software as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Clock PMS+

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
99 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Solutions built for yesterday's world and unnecessarily large patchworks of vendors and software cannot optimally serve your interests. Streamline your business' technology, amaze...

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Hoteliers voted Clock Software as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Hoteliers voted HOTELTIME as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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HotelTime PMS

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
99 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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The First Cloud-Native PMS Running In More Than 550 Properties In 12 Countries Worldwide 94% Client Retention

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Hoteliers voted HOTELTIME as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Hoteliers voted Mews as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Mews

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
97 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Mews is an innovative hospitality management cloud that empowers the modern hotelier to improve performance, maximize revenue, and provide remarkable guest experiences. A fully in...

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Hoteliers voted Mews as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Hoteliers voted Oracle Hospitality as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Oracle OPERA PMS

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
91 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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OPERA Property Management Suite (Opera PMS) is an enterprise property management system for hotel operations and distribution based on cloud technologies. Secure, scalable, and mo...

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Hoteliers voted Oracle Hospitality as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Hoteliers voted WebRezPro as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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WebRezPro

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
90 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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WebRezPro is a complete, automated and flexible cloud property management system designed to increase productivity and revenue for all types of accommodations. From reservation ...

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Hoteliers voted WebRezPro as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Hoteliers voted RoomRaccoon as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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RoomRaccoon PMS

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
89 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Typically, a PMS replaces all the handwritten lists and agendas. With a PMS, everything is managed electronically. Hence, our PMS can give you additional insights, such as your oc...

Geography: Regional
Geography: Global Verified Customer Support: Yes No
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Hoteliers voted RoomRaccoon as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Hoteliers voted StayNTouch as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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StayNTouch

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
88 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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StayNTouch offers an intuitive Cloud PMS that simplifies hotel operations from end-to-end; including reservation management, front desk management, revenue management, housekeepi...

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Hoteliers voted StayNTouch as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Hoteliers voted Guestline as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Guestline (Rezlynx PMS)

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
87 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Guestline’s unique, cloud hosted suite of solutions for the hospitality industry increases revenue, streamlines operations and lowers costs. Guestline provides end-to-end proper...

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Hoteliers voted Guestline as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Hoteliers voted Preno as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Preno

HotelTech Logo score
HT SCORE
83 out of 100
Hotel Tech Score is a composite ranking comprising of key signals such as: user satisfaction, review quantity, review recency, and vendor submitted information to help buyers better understand their products.
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Preno is a hotel software company that offers cloud solutions for independent hoteliers - offering a PMS, Channel Manager and Booking Engine. Preno is built for hoteliers by hote...

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Hoteliers voted Preno as the #1 Property Management Systems provider in the 2021 HotelTechAwards
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Recent Property Management Systems Articles

The Future of Hotel Front Desk Software: PMS, CRS and Hotel CRM Are Converging

by
Hotel Tech Report
1 year ago

Dave Berkus knows hospitality technology more than nearly anyone. Back in the early 1980s, his company, Computerized Lodging Systems, dominated the nascent hospitality technology market with one of the first electronic Property Management Systems on the market.  The immediate popularity of the technology resulted in rapid growth for the company, which was recognized on the Inc 500 list -- twice. Dave also created FOSSE, the property management system technology that Marriott used for almost 36 years. Dave practically invented hotel front desk software and he has invested in hundreds of tech companies since - many of those in hotel and travel tech so he knows this market better than anyone. Today, there are over 700 property management systems for hotels. With such a dense thicket of choices, it's hard to imagine the early days of hospitality technology. These are the days when only a few players dominated, offering truly game-changing solutions that defined how hotels began using technology to operate more efficiently and profitably. Dave is also an accomplished angel investor, having achieved an impressive 97% internal rate of return from over 150 investments to date. His Wayfare Ventures unites five partners from AIG, TAJ Hotel Group and Starwood, alongside a board of accomplished travel industry veterans, to make early stage investments in travel technology startups. Hotel Tech Report’s Jordan Hollander recently enjoyed a wide-ranging conversation with Dave on the Hotel Tech Insider podcast, where the two discussed how Dave’s history in hospitality technology has shaped the way he sees the industry today. These are the most pertinent themes that reveal how this hospitality technology luminary sees the future of hotel tech, as well as what he looks for when evaluating both ideas and entrepreneurs for investment.   The future of the PMS With so many property management solutions competing for business, it's hard to envision a post-PMS future. Yet, this future is coming, Berkus says, due to the increased importance of the Central Reservation System. The CRS owns the guest name record, which has made it more of a centralized source of data than the PMS: The PMS systems are, for the chains at least, becoming increasingly less important, as they handle right now in-house functions only. Berkus notes that the cloud PMS companies of today are likely to be the players who evolve these CRS like capabilities so while he believes that their technology will remain a core piece of the tech stack, he believes that what it means to be a PMS will change more in the next 5-10 years than in the last 20 years combined. Guest history has shifted to the CRS, while the PMS has transitioned into a fully operational role for specific properties. As hotels have both consolidated and established micro-brands, the CRS naturally became the way to share guest preferences across the portfolio. The centralization of data cemented the role of the CRS at the center of modern data-driven personalization and marketing strategies. says Berkus:   Big Data's being used in very important ways but certainly not just from the PMS system anymore. The question then is: if the CRS could potentially supplant the PMS as the source of all-important guest data, will we need a PMS system in the future? Berkus says yes but the legacy PMS companies will be forced to innovate and more specifically open up their architecture to become platforms themselves because CRS, CRM and even Revenue Management companies of today have the requisite data necessary to become the center of the tech stack according to Berkus. Eventually, Berkus sees most hotels relying on a single cloud-based system that aggregates all functionality into one flow, which reduces errors and increases accuracy as it doesn't require passing information around multiple systems. A hybrid PMS/CRS/CRM solution means a single guest record that enables better, more accurate personalization. The consolidation of functionality also simplifies the tech stack and should help hotels effectively use existing data to power personalization at the individual guest level. A unified tech stack unleashes the full power of data-driven decision making, which will soon be table stakes for how hotels everywhere compete. Rather than relying on incomplete sets of data, hoteliers can constantly make decisions based on the holistic view. A unified tech stack can also be achieved through seamless integrations and Berkus says that “there will always be best of breed solutions in various categories.” This vision will take a while to achieve, and so the PMS will continue to play a critical role for hotel operations: If we look ahead ten years, it would be easy to see a single cloud-based system integrating everything from CRM to reservations to the accounting functions at the properties, all the way through all forms of marketing and follow-through. Even with this view, Berkus sees the potential for category leaders to dominate specific verticals, while still providing the essential services necessary to run a hotel. For example, revenue management, which may be a feature of a CRS or a standalone solution -- all depending on how an individual property derives its revenue, and the sophistication of its revenue generation strategies. Part of the problem, he says, is that people confuse hotel tech with quality hotel tech: just because a hotel has a system doesn't mean that it is a good system. For Berkus, this means that the hospitality technology industry has plenty of dynamism ahead of it and he believes that it’s far from maturity.   The transformative power of analytics For Berkus, the primary reason for the PMS’ uncertain future is due to its isolation from data and analytics. Even the most integrated systems have challenges when it comes to gathering data from disparate sources into a unified view. Even so, it’s the analytics on top of all of this data that drives profitable hospitality today. Whichever technology hotel uses, It must facilitate the types of analysis that drive “more capable decisions,” across the organization, says Berkus: Analytics are everything. The most important single change that's going to come is the fact that every piece of data that arrives at the central source will be analyzed. You're going to find that more capable decisions will be made to maximize revenue...based upon AI and data analytics. That's your future. The unsaid implications here is that hotels with a sub-par data and analytics approach will be left behind. Hospitality has become not just about the guest-facing product but also the hidden back-end of intelligent data capture and analysis. The top performers will effectively oscillate between analyzing the data and making clear improvements based on this analysis.   The data-driven hotel GM As data and analytics move to the core of a hotel’s operation, general managers must evolve their skill sets to match. While operations will never cease to be a part of a hotel general managers role, success in this role is increasingly about the ability to enhance profitability by effectively translating data analytics into actionable initiatives. Currently, GMs have a steep learning curve to build muscle memory around analyzing large amounts of data from disparate sources. As machines become more capable of doing the analysis on their own, the best GMs will be able to take action on the analysis presented by the tools to increase profitability, Berkus predicts: A manager has to be able to add value by adding revenue and by increasing guest satisfaction. Those two things are not necessarily the operational things that a manager today normally concentrates on. Marketing also matters more to the GM of the future. As marketing campaigns become data-focused, GMs will engage more deeply with their marketing teams to leverage a data-driven approach to spend marketing dollars more efficiently. It's all about the relevant message consumed in the right context, as GMs seek to add value in new ways.   Sourcing true pain points from sales and marketing Berkus is an active angel investor, and his recent announcement of Wayfare Ventures brings his focus to travel technology. When it comes to developing an idea, Berkus sees real value in entrepreneurs solving true pain points rather than perceived problems: I love it when somebody in marketing or sales develops a company and says “I feel the pain” and let's try and solve the need. As opposed to what I see most often, which is an engineer says I really got an idea and I'm going to make that idea work. The contrarian view is noteworthy in its opposition to the engineer-focused view espoused by many investors and technologists. Part of this view comes from the plummeting costs of cloud computing, as well as the prevalence of APIs which make it simpler to plug into an existing ecosystem without having to build as much technical infrastructure. Differentiation comes less from tech and more from truly knowing the problem and having clarity around what needs to be solved -- rather than building a technically-flawless solution that misses the mark and fails to gain traction because it doesn't solve an actual problem. An early-stage solution that solves a real problem for a specific segment sells itself and helps a startup gain traction at a lower cost. It’s expensive to convince people that a product solves a non-existent problem.   Market trends poised for investment As far as trends in the market that have potential, Berkus points to artificial intelligence, robotics, and data analytics as three disruptive forces. However, things change fast. Apps are no longer the hot commodity they once were. Today’s opportunities are all about AI, robots, and data analytics. When evaluating the most exciting opportunities for investment, Berkus expands his view to encompass all of travel technology. This expanded view allows him to see opportunities from the interconnectedness of the travel and hospitality industries, which is a core part of the thesis at Wayfare Ventures. It all comes down to using modern technology to find new revenue that may not have been easy to uncover in the past. Whatever it be, there are opportunities now for revenue that weren't easily available in the past but are today. But the whole point is if guest satisfaction goes up and guests are able to do things they couldn't do before, like order a meal from text, then you're going to have better revenue and more satisfaction.   Enjoy the full podcast episode here. Outside of the points covered above, Berkus shares the fascinating foundational story of the first property and yield management tools for hotels.

How Does Hotel Booking Software Work?

by
Hotel Tech Report
5 months ago

The growth in technology tools for hotels has complicated life for hoteliers. While it has always been important to bring potential guests into the conversion funnel, there are now many ways to both capture and convert lookers to bookers. When considering the different ways to bring prospects into your hotel’s funnel, it can be helpful to start with the goal and then look at technologies that accomplish that goal. This approach differs from other common vendor evaluation processes in one key way: it puts the goal first rather than the category. Generally speaking you always want to start closest to the conversion event and work your way higher and higher in the purchase funnel.  This means that you should start by analyzing your hotel's booking software to make sure that you don't have leakage (i.e. low conversion rates).  Next you'll analyze your website and direct channel and lastly you'll explore ways to bring more visitors into that funnel once you've sealed up any holes. In this method, we advise analyzing data across your business from channel mix to conversion rates to identify problem areas.  Once you've identified these problems, prioritize starting at the bottom of the funnel and work your way up.  We'll then explore the tools that can help solve each of these problems (hint: some tools may solve the same problem in completely different categories).  We'll start by clearly explaining the different types of hotel booking software.  We'll then outline the four main objectives of any hotel marketing strategy, we'll then dive into which software categories and providers can help shore up issues within each objective. With an increasing number of guests choosing online booking - up to 80% of guests under the age of 30 - a well-informed hotelier should have a solid understanding of the hotel booking software landscape. The term “hotel booking software” can refer to a few different types of software, which can be confusing for hoteliers who might not work in the technology space on a regular basis. In this article, we’ll introduce you to the five main categories of hotel booking software: OTAs, Central Reservations Systems (CRS), booking engines, channel managers, and property management systems (PMS). By the end of this blog post, you’ll know the ins and outs of each so you can maximize your property’s online reach and make the right technology decisions for your hotel.   Central Reservations System: Manage Rates & Inventory It’s a good rule of thumb to diversify your mix of reservation channels, so most hotels don’t rely solely on OTA bookings. Large hotels and chain hotels often use central reservation systems (CRSs) to manage bookings made through their own reservations teams. CRSs allow various reservations agents to view real-time rates and availability and create, edit, or cancel reservations in one centralized system. A hotel wouldn’t use a central reservations system alone, though. The CRS would receive rates from a revenue management system, exchange availability data and reservation details with a property management system, and possibly also integrate with a channel manager to distribute inventory to third-party channels like OTAs or the GDS. CRSs deliver the most benefit to hotels with reservations teams or which are part of a brand or chain with off-site reservations offices.   Booking Engine: Drive Direct Bookings Besides booking through reservations staff, guests can also make reservations on hotels’ own websites - but in order for that to be possible, the hotel website needs a booking system to sell hotel rooms called a booking engine. Hotel booking engines display real-time rates and availability, house the booking process and gathering of guest details, and integrate the confirmed reservations with the hotel’s property management system or hotel management system. Some property management systems include integrated booking engines, and some hotel-specific website builders also come with booking engine capability. But even if your existing tech stack includes a built-in booking engine, it’s worth doing some extra research to find the most user-friendly booking engine. Glitches or slow loading speeds can make guests change their mind about booking at your hotel, and, on the flip side, a great booking engine with upselling and customization capabilities can increase your conversion rate and your RevPAR.   Channel Manager: Facilitate Bookings on 3rd Parties Direct reservations - whether through a reservations agent or your hotel’s website - usually don’t lead to a full house every night. A savvy hotelier leverages third-party channels to maximize online exposure and develop varied segments of guests. In order to work with third-party channels most efficiently, hotels use channel management software. Channel managers often support connections to hundreds of third-party sites that range from big OTAs (Booking.com and Expedia) to smaller niche sites (HostelWorld and Mr & Mrs Smith) and wholesalers (Hotelbeds). Manually updating rates and availability on hundreds of sites is impossible, so a channel manager makes it easy to keep all of your distribution channels accurate and up-to-date. Some property management systems include integrated channel management functionality; if not, be sure to choose a channel manager that supports integration with your PMS so reservations can sync seamlessly.   Property Management Systems: From Hotel Bookings to Guest Experience Management A property management system is at the core of your hotel tech stack. It houses all of your reservations, guest profiles, billing information, room statuses, and more. Small hotels often opt for a combined PMS with a channel manager and booking engine referred to as hotel management system.  This helps to streamline hotel operations in a simple and easy to use management solution and reservation software combined - which can be more cost-effective.  Nearly all hotel departments use the PMS on a daily basis: front desk agents check-in guests, housekeeping teams learn which rooms need to be cleaned, finance teams manage billing, leadership teams look at reporting and trends. Without any booking engine or channel management capabilities, a PMS is only considered hotel booking software if we think about reservations booked manually by hotel staff. But most PMSs include modules for additional functions; some PMSs even include CRS, channel management, and booking engine functionality. If your hotel uses a PMS that connects directly to OTAs and has integrated an CRS, channel manager, and booking engine, that PMS might be the only system you need.   Online Travel Agencies (OTA): 3rd Party Booking Extranets Out of all those reservations booked online, many of them come through online travel agents or OTAs.  The smallest hotels and guest houses (under 10 rooms) often lack direct bookings in their channel mix at all while major hotel chains command a larger share relative to the OTAs. You can think of these digital marketplaces as an Amazon for travel; travelers can use various criteria to search through available hotels, flights, rental cars, and more, then complete the booking process through that marketplace platform.  Guests often choose OTAs due to the perception of better pricing on travel products and streamlined package offerings which help to automate a lot of the itinerary management processes. OTAs offer significant benefits to guests, such as loyalty programs, credibility, and the convenience of having all the available options at your fingertips. Guests complete their booking on the OTA and receive a confirmation from the OTA, at which point the OTA sends a notification to the hotel with the reservation details. Those reservation details integrate with the hotel’s property management system or travel to the property management system via a channel manager - more on that later! For hoteliers, OTAs also deliver plenty of benefits. OTAs give hotels visibility among massive audiences (Booking.com receives well over 200 million monthly visits, for example) and access to marketing channels that would be cost-prohibitive if the hotel tried to get similar reach independently. Many hotels also experience the “billboard effect,” in which travelers find a hotel they like on an OTA, and then they search for that hotel’s direct website to complete their booking. However, all this marketing exposure comes at a cost; most OTAs charge commissions between 15% and 20% on each confirmed reservation.     Goal #1: Optimize Website & Hotel Booking Software Conversion When it comes to getting more direct bookings, it’s all about the hotel website (and booking software or IBE). After all, a hotel with a buggy website and poor user flow will scare off many potential guests who seek a trustworthy booking experience. Direct booking tools promise growth in direct bookings by increasing conversions on a hotel’s website through price check tools, real-time guest messaging, smart segmentation, and pricing optimization. These direct booking tools offer a mix of capabilities, so it’s best to evaluate each according to how your hotel prioritizes direct bookings. Booking engines are a necessity for selling rooms directly. Without a modern and intuitive interface that’s optimized for conversion, guests will go elsewhere out of frustration or suspicion. Look for a booking engine or hotel booking software with real-time inventory updates; otherwise, you risk double booking across channels. Reputation management is more than just an operational tool: it’s also handy for marketing. Most hotel reputation management solutions have the ability to feature previous guest reviews on your website; doing so can dramatically boost your conversion rate. Virtual tours can help conversions. When potential guests consider a hotel, they want to be certain that the property is as advertised. Consider investing in a virtual tour to give guests piece of mind.   Goal #2: Drive More Traffic to Your Hotel Website With Paid & Social Once a website has been optimized for direct bookings and conversion, the next step is to entice more potential guests to it. There’s a blended approach to making this happen.   Content marketing is one of the most affordable ways to engage potential guests and to bring them to your website. With great content, you’ll have an engaging website to attract visitors, as well as plenty to post on social media. Be sure to make your content relevant to your guest profile. Social media is a challenging place but can deliver results when done right -- especially for distribution of the great content you’ve created! Social media is also a goldmine of consumer insights. Leveraging social media tools can bring you closer to your customers. Influencer marketing continues to be a growth area for hospitality marketers. Inviting influencers to experience the property, or paying them to post about the property, appeals to hotels looking to reach particular demographics. These influencer marketing tools should factor into the mix, helping identify the right influencers and tracking the success of your campaign. Digital marketing agencies are assets for those hotels that have enough budget to engage subject matter experts. Hotel digital marketing vendors use their experience across clients to build high-impact campaigns that can be quite intimidating to deploy solo.   Goal #3: Drive Retention and Return Visits According to research from Bain & Co., the company that invented the Net Promoter Score, increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. Statistics aside, it really comes down to customer acquisition cost for hotels. With each booking channel taking a large commission for bringing in a guest, it can be extraordinarily lucrative to re-engage former guests. Loyalty programs are helpful assets to organize and track a comprehensive loyalty program for independents. The best technology will give you insights into your guest profiles, and help you craft the best offerings to each group.  Read our article reviewing independent loyalty programs to decide if this option is right for your hotel or properties. Email marketing is a critical piece of the loyalty puzzle. When evaluating email marketing tools, you want to be sure that it integrates with your existing loyalty program and hotel CRM tools.   Goal #4: Develop a Well Balanced Omni-Channel Distribution Mix Third-party websites and metasearch are important pieces of any hotel revenue management strategy. As part of a cohesive approach that includes direct bookings, wholesale, and groups, these channels are valuable tools to shore up low demand periods and achieve overall revenue targets. Metasearch and ad tech bring advanced reporting, bidding and inventory management to your third-party distribution strategy. These metasearch tools help hoteliers wrangle the complex web of metasearch campaigns, as well as integrating in real-time with existing systems to maximize profitable bookings without overbooking. Review management software performs a critical function: it monitors your hotel’s reviews for potential operational issues. Catching poor performance before it affects the guest experience means better reviews -- and a higher ranking in search results on OTAs and metasearch sites.   ** Want to get started today? Run an internal SWOT analysis for your hotel's marketing department to identify weaknesses and opportunities then use that analysis to inform where you invest resources.  Rather than comparing only direct booking tools to one another, for example, this process focuses on the desired outcome -- and then compares tools across categories that may help your hotel achieve that outcome. With this outcome-based approach, you'll have stronger odds of successfully matching with the correct vendor for a specific issue.   What else would you like to learn about hotel booking software? Let us know!

What is a Hotel PMS? Everything You Need to Know About Property Management Systems

by
Jordan Hollander
7 months ago

A hotel PMS unites many core functions of a hotel front desk and back office in one hotel software system.  Most vendors today tout their "cloud PMS" but the reality is that cloud computing is now old news even in the hotel industry.  Finding the right PMS system for your hotel is a huge challenge, but first you need to understand what exactly a hotel PMS is and that's what we're going to cover in this article. By coordinating reservations, availability, payments, and reporting in one central point of sale, hoteliers have a better grasp of the real-time demand and performance of hotel operations. That’s why choosing a PMS can be one of the most agonizing choices a hotelier makes. If there's one hotel software that you're going to really want to understand it's the PMS.  The PMS is your property's core operating system that can streamline operations whether you're a vacation rental to a massive resort with dozens of outlets.  Consequently, PMS software you choose also determines all of the other systems that you'll use to run your business. When evaluating a property management system for the hospitality industry, this is what you need to know.   What is a Hotel Property Management System (PMS)? A property management system (PMS) is a hotel management software suite that property owners and front desk workers use to manage their business by coordinating reservations, online booking availability, payments, and reporting in one central place. The Hotel PMS streamlines operations for front office staff and guest services in a hotel business to check-in and check-out guests, see room availability, make adjustments to existing reservations, and even can have back office functionality (schedule housekeeping or maintenance ). With a central system, hoteliers can better manage and monitor the key metrics needed to run their business (e.g. average daily rate, occupancy, and RevPAR). Here are some of the things a hotel PMS can do: Guest check-in and check-out Room availability Reservations management (both OTA and direct bookings) Rate management Billing, and scheduling Housekeeping/maintenance Channel management (e.g. Booking channels like Expedia, GDS, etc.) Check-in kiosk Payment processing   Key Features of Front Desk Software (Hotel PMS) Intuitive interface that's user-friendly As hotel technology matures, there is less differentiation between vendors; as far as features and functionality, at least 80% is familiar across the best hotel PMS vendors. The actual differentiation is in the design. That's why our top two criteria when choosing a PMS are design-based. An intuitive interface, as well as an easy-to-read dashboard, go a long way in encouraging employee adoption, reducing training time, and generally improving the working lives of yourself and your team. The last thing you want is reluctance to use a particular software tool because it's ugly or hard to use. In addition to the interface, a customizable dashboard becomes your real-time assistant as many hotel PMS players offer remote hotel management from a mobile device or smartphone. It’s Immensely valuable to have a centralized dashboard that can be adjusted to reflect an individual property’s most important metrics. This could be personalized to management only, or could also be shared across the team as a motivating tool. A great PMS is one that your team will want to use. Since “good” design is in the eye the beholder, search for a System that balances functionality with an interface that makes sense to you.   Cyber security The hotel property management software sits at the center of the hotel. The software itself, along with any third-party integrations, must be secure. Here are some facets of solid security: GDPR-compliant personal data storage PCI-DSS-compliant processing and card storage Geographic diversity of servers to reduce downtime risk Bank-level encryption of all data Controlled access to the physical area for any on-premise PMS servers A desirable PMS also has robust user access controls. To maintain guest privacy and payment processing security, Access to sensitive guest information must be restricted. An audit trail Should also be available to track any potential unauthorized user access. In a world where data breaches make daily headlines, poor security practices of vendors can be a massive liability. Ask questions, probe for weakness, and determine if you trust this vendor as a proxy for your own brand’s reputation.   Process automation You need a PMS that molds itself to your business, not the other way around. A modern property management solution must evolve alongside guest expectations. When you get stuck with “frozen in time” legacy software, it limits how you can adapt to the retailing and property management trends of the day. The worst-case scenario is when operations are constrained, rather than empowered, by software. A great example of this is the ability to automate repetitive tasks. Modern, cloud-based PMS are capable of automating certain back-office tasks (such as reporting, which we discussed earlier). Even something as simple as automatically letting housekeeping know when a guest has checked out can have a massive impact on operational efficiency -- and management sanity.   Systems integrations From channel managers and revenue management to business intelligence, CRS, booking engine and hotel CRM the parade of acronyms (and vendors) exhaust even the most seasoned hotelier. Given the sheer number of hotel technology solutions, ease of integration is a top-of-mind for many hoteliers. The right PMS is the one that plays well with your existing tech stack. Without the necessary integrations, a PMS cannot perform its functions correctly. It can also hinder staff productivity and trickle down to the guest experience. For example, if staff have to pull reservation details manually from channel management software and put them into the property management system, errors will arise that affect your guests.  Adding custom integrations can be expensive, complicated and time-consuming. Aim for a PMS that integrates with all mission-critical software out of the box. When that's not realistic, you’ll need to budget for assistance from a hotel systems integrator that provides deep PMS integrations as a service. They will be faster and more accurate than one-off customizations from many PMS vendors while ensuring two-way connectivity that keeps records updated across all systems seamlessly.   Reporting and analytics One of the reasons why integrations are so important is that a poorly integrated PMS impedes proper reporting. Sure, you can pull reports from within the system, but you also want to save stuff time by providing a fully-integrated tech stack that reduces (or eliminates!) any time spent on pulling manual reports. Streamlined reporting allows management to spend time on more pressing priorities. As all hoteliers know, there never seems to be enough minutes in the hour or hours in the day. You want a PMS that makes reporting simple and straightforward, so you can focus on revenue-generating activities.   How Much Does a Hotel Property Management System Cost? We put this one last to encourage reversing the process when it comes to PMS selection. All budget certainly matters, it shouldn't be the first criteria. It's far more impactful to evaluate potential solutions according to functionality and set first, and then price them out. You may find that the more expensive solution provides greater functionality and increased opportunities for incremental revenue. Quite often, these solutions more than pay for themselves in unexpected ways. As a rule of thumb with pricing, there is no rule of thumb anymore! Certain vendors charge by the feature and others charged by the room. Custom integrations quickly add cost. To compare vendors with different business models, we recommend calculating your own per room price for an apples-to-apples comparison.    There’s also a hidden factor in the pricing: customer service. When a vendor manages an attractive price, but without reliable support, it’s usually not worth the small savings. Inevitably, systems go down -- and often, the outage occurs during peak usage. The trade-off of short-term savings is rarely worth the long-term reputational damage, staff stress, and missed revenue opportunities related to poor customer service and downtime. When your hotel is a small fish in a big pond, you may be overlooked by your vendor -- this is especially acute with some larger vendors. On the flip side, your hotel could be a major account for emerging vendors -- creating a risk that a vendor cannot stay afloat without your business. The best practice is to find a customer-focused vendor with sufficient scale and market traction that still maintains a strong customer relationship.   Download the Free 2020 PMS Buyers Guide   * * * As you begin evaluating different PMS vendors, visualize your tech stack and how each piece connects with the other. Workshop this with your direct reports on a whiteboard or in a mind-map tool. This process aligns the team, uncovers any false assumptions or overlooked needs, and wrangles a complicated process. Then you have a clear picture of any potential overlaps that might save money, expand revenue opportunities, or make for a better overall guest experience.   Searching for a new hotel PMS? Check out the 10 Top Rated Hotel PMS Systems based on verified hotelier reviews.  

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Recent Property Management Systems News & Community Updates

RBH Hospitality Management Selects StayNTouch’s Guest-Centric PMS for their 4 Fragrance Group Properties

StayNTouch
3 days ago

RBH Hospitality Management, a UK-based hospitality management company that manages over 45 properties across the UK, has selected StayNTouch Cloud PMS and Contactless Solutions for their four Fragrance Group properties totaling over 400 rooms. RBH specializes in full-service management for luxury assets and chose StayNTouch’s guest-centric PMS because they wanted a dynamic and mobile platform that could unburden their staff, drive profitability, and empower their guests with a seamless and digital experience. Vibhu Gaind, the Chief Information Officer of RBH, said, “We felt that the StayNTouch guest-centric model was an optimal fit for the Fragrance Group’s near-term guest and staff needs and allows for long-term innovation. Having a mobile and flexible PMS platform enables staff to be more efficient with day-to-day tasks, and ultimately put more focus on delivering better service to the guest. We also loved the ability to drive room upgrades and ancillary revenue with automated triggers”. Michael Heflin, Chief Revenue Officer of StayNTouch replied, “RBH is looking to create a guest-centric experience through operational efficiency and technological flexibility. Today’s digital traveler expects choice, convenience, and personalization, and our guest-facing technology enables the experience those travelers desire.”    About RBH Hospitality Management RBH is one of the UK’s leading independent hotel management companies, with a portfolio of more than 45 hotels, from full-service country retreat hotels to city-center hotels properties. With offices in both London and Glasgow and an expert team of over 100 hotel specialists, RBH works with businesses all around the UK, helping to maximize return for existing hotel owners, as well as building and developing new hotels since 1997. For the past 20 years, partnerships with some of the most prestigious international hotel brands have included Hilton Hotels & Resorts, IHG, Accor, Wyndham Worldwide, and Marriott International.   

What Hoteliers Want from Their PMS in 2021; Top Features Requested by Hoteliers as They Prepare for Reopening

Maestro PMS
5 days ago

It is not surprising that 2021 brought with it a lot of hotel operational changes as management had ample time last year to evaluate which technology solutions were working and which were not. What many hotels are discovering — based on the increasing call volume to our North America sales team — is that their current property-management systems do not have the breadth of features or the contactless tools needed to support returning guests along their journeys. Certainly, they want to offer a contactless and touch-free guest experience complete with mobile check-in and express check-out, mobile room keys, digital registration cards, and a digital guest itinerary. And their wish lists do not stop there. In speaking with prospective customers from the independent hospitality group sector over the past several months, we are repeatedly hearing the same requests for more choice, more flexibility, more functionality, and much more customer service. One of the biggest problem’s that hotel and resort operators are facing is the inability to attract and retain staff. If you think this human resource issue cannot be addressed by the PMS, think again. Today’s hotel employees are wearing multiple hats. A person may be working the front desk on Monday, assisting in the restaurant on Tuesday, working the Pro Shop on Wednesday, the Spa on Thursday, etc. If a hotel has disparate systems across their outlets, that means team members must know how to operate multiple systems. That could be a nightmare, especially if the team member is a relatively new hire and is not familiar with hotel technology. Although staff may do their best to learn these different solutions, it’s likely not what they signed up for, and soon the employee may get frustrated and leave. So, in addition to the demand for contactless tools, hoteliers are saying they want the ability to run multiple outlets from a single solution with one database. They want front office, sales and catering, spa and activities, booking engine, mobile and contact free guest engagement, mobile and contact free operations, data mining analytics, membership, retail point of sale, condo and owner/vacation rental management, loyalty, work order management, gift card management, guest experience management/surveys, mobile housekeeping, customer-relationship management, guest communications, and two-way text messaging to operate on a single platform. Giving employees a single solution and a single login to learn and operate the technology, and the ability to cross book and view activity for all outlets, arms them with the ability to focus on their important tasks and not struggle with disparate systems and user interfaces. They will excel when they can use an integrated solution rather than rely on interfaces between systems with non-centralized guest profiles and stay data ultimately helping them do their jobs better, and with a lot less stress. It will enable them to hop from one department to the next if needed with ease. And, when the technology is quickly mastered, it will give employees pride in their work and a sense of accomplishment. In the end, having the tools to effectively do your job is satisfying and rewarding, and helps build better team players. Selecting the right PMS partner speaks directly to attracting and retaining hotel employees for the long term. Next, hoteliers are saying they want complete autonomy and power of choice in their PMS platform deployment if the options support mobile and contactless guest engagement from booking to in house to check out. While some operators opt for a cloud-based PMS today — one featuring browser access deployed in a multi-tenant environment — there are others that for many reasons would prefer choices in their deployment, yet still desire a web browser-based solution. Due to many factors, such as remote location with spotty internet, or simply wanting the data server under their own management, operators are asking for the best of all worlds, and want their modern browser solution with the choice to deploy self-hosted, private cloud, or on premise as well as cloud hosted. ALL have advantages dependent on the operations’ needs, and each can securely support personalized and mobile check-in, contact free technologies, and modern integrations. The key is finding a single PMS provider that offers flexible PMS deployment options. Whether the server is in the cloud, in a private cloud, a managed data center, or in the hotel’s IT room, if it has a connection to the Internet (generally firewall secured between an internal and external network) it can support a web browser-based PMS with touch free, contactless, mobile, and third-party technologies. They want an enterprise PMS platform that’s easy to use with built in tutorials and learning materials, as well as easy to access help and support by the supplier. They want the system to provide centralized controls and reporting while enabling each property to run at maximum efficiency. They want a centralized chain wide database facilitating easy cross selling of properties and amenities plus a single client profile for greater guest recognition and loyalty management. They want corporate collection and individual property performance metrics and guest behavior reporting from a single central data repository. And they want increased efficiencies and productivity with centralized, standardized operational procedures across all properties. Hoteliers are also indicating they want multi-property functionality. We are seeing hotel companies acquiring new properties regularly now and expanding their portfolios, sometimes with a very short acquisition window to get new systems in place. How easily a new property can deploy the PMS and onboard employees will be key to PMS selection. Operators are saying they prefer a reasonable serviced based upfront set-up fee, coupled with remote training for greater efficiencies and expeditious implementation. Regarding remote training, while nothing takes the place of in person training, in today’s new normal, the need for virtual technology training is critical to following social distancing guidelines and keeping employees safe — whether protecting hotel workers, trainers or guests. Hoteliers say they want PMS companies to offer eLearning, including easy-to-learn courses for each module. They want to give their staff the opportunity to study key system features, functions, and reports at their own pace and on their own time. In addition to traditional live phone support, the PMS provider should also offer live chat help, online user guides, tutorials, and direct email support. And operators want to have the ability to guide and track the lessons completed by each user. If the PMS provider offers free version upgrades — something many hoteliers say they never knew existed but also highly welcome in 2021 — all employees will also need continuing education on these new versions. Finding a PMS provider that offers on demand live training as part of their annual subscription and maintenance fees is critical, along with one-on-one refresher training, both being a top selection criterion for operators. Last, but certainly not least, hoteliers say they want 24/7/365 responsive, LIVE, and affordable customer support. Some hoteliers are telling us that because they have disparate systems in each department and paying for each vendors system separately, total support fees can be exorbitant. We are also fielding weekly calls from operators who are frustrated with their PMS provider because their service calls are not being answered or returned. People prefer working with a PMS company, and technology companies in general, that maintain a client first support culture at its core. They are responded to live via phone, or live chat, they have a voice in the roadmap of enhancements and innovations, they simply want their voice to be heard. The last thing anyone wants to feel today is isolated; the pandemic has caused enough social isolation damage for a lifetime. You can have the best product in the market, but without proper service to back it up, it is not a worthwhile investment. Enterprise hotel management software with integrated modules to support all departments operating on a single database does exist, and it comes with contactless and mobile apps to power profitability, drive direct bookings, centralize operations, and enable operators to engage guests with a safe and personalized experience. Those wanting flexible and scalable deployment options with a full-featured and sophisticated web browser solution available hosted in the cloud, on premise, self hosted, or in your own private cloud are not alone. In 2021, hoteliers can have it all. They just need to know where to look.

Cloudbeds Grows in Europe Focusing on the Spanish Market as it Contributes to Hotel Industry Relaunch

Cloudbeds
3 weeks ago

Cloudbeds, a unified and powerful hotel software platform for accommodations of all sizes, consolidates its strong position in Europe by growing in Spain, aiming at leveraging the promising forecasts and Spanish market growth potential. The goal is to become a key partner for the Spanish hotel industry and assist them in their efforts to digitize their business as they work for the recovery and relaunch of tourism following the COVID-19 pandemic. “We firmly believe in Spain’s strong recovery perspectives; that is why we are continuing to heavily invest in the market and expand our presence”, says Adam Harris, CEO, and co-founder of Cloudbeds. The local Spanish team features a multidisciplinary group of individuals featuring digital capabilities in several areas, ranging from technological development and marketing to hospitality consultants, sales, and customer care specialists. Founded in 2012, Cloudbeds is currently present in more than 40 countries, including several European locations. “Europe has been a relevant part of our story, in fact, half of our team members are based in this continent, some of them from the very beginning of our operations”, recalls Harris. Cloudbeds has already confirmed its participation in FITUR 2021 as a Travel Technology Pavilion exhibitor (Pabellón 8) and as a speaker in key events such as FITURTECHY. Here, the Cloudbeds team leaders will address the technologies and tools that will determine the future of hospitality, along with the challenges and opportunities of digitalization in the travel industry whilst in the midst of travel recovery.   Spain’s travel come back: stronger and more digital The global company pioneers the development of simple and comprehensive technological hospitality solutions, which are easy to implement and have a minimal learning curve. Thanks to Cloudbeds, hotels of all sizes will reduce the complexity of using several platforms for lodging management. The powerful Cloudbeds suite features a streamlined migration process and provides property managers all the tools needed to manage their businesses, as well as to optimize operations and revenue. "Despite that, we are globally facing challenging times in the travel industry, we are really positive about the long-term outlook for Spain, as travel and hospitality will return”, explains Harris, who underlines that “hospitality is evolving faster than ever and we would like to contribute to preparing Spanish properties to make a qualitative leap in the use of technology embracing digital transformation, to help them to continue to do what they know and monetize, being great hosts for their guests”. In 2021, Cloudbeds has received several awards for their technology and their work environments, such as the prestigious HotelTechAwards as the best PMS and the Best Hotel Booking Engine. Furthermore, HotelTechReport acknowledged Cloudbeds with the Global Hotelier's Choice award and featured them in the list of 10 Best Places to Work in the technology sector.  

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Property Management Systems Category Overview

What is a Hotel Property Management System? (Hotel PMS Basics)

A property management system (PMS) is a hotel management software suite that property owners and front desk workers use to manage their business by coordinating reservations, online booking availability, payments, and reporting in one central place. The Hotel PMS streamlines operations for front office staff and guest services in a hotel business to check-in and check-out guests, see room availability, make adjustments to existing reservations, and even can have back office functionality (schedule housekeeping or maintenance ). With a central system, hoteliers can better manage and monitor the key metrics needed to run their business (e.g. average daily rate, occupancy, and RevPAR).  To learn more check out our in depth article: What is a Hotel PMS?

What are the Most Important Features of a Hotel PMS in the eyes of Hoteliers?

  1. User-friendly interface Train your staff quickly and can reduce the likelihood of errors. The best PMS solutions today are self-service and help to streamline operations by enabling hospitality businesses to check in guests faster. Many modern platforms can even be operated from a mobile device via mobile app.
  2. Check-in/check-out guests and modify guest reservations - Keep track of guest profiles and move them around as needed keeps you on top of your reservations and reduces the likelihood of overbookings.
  3. Central dashboard - See what is happening, what needs to be done today, and monitor your key metrics. ;View reservation management details in your PMS solution.
  4. Personalized taxes, fees, and policies - Customize taxes, fees, and cancellation policies in the combination that best suits your business.
  5. Government compliance- Comply with local tax reporting requirements and regulations.
  6. Guest communication - Improve the guest experience with automated pre and post-stay communications.
  7. Reporting suite - Generate detailed production and financial reports to improve business operations. Helps property managers understand booking channels.
  8. Payment processing - Ability to take credit card payments in compliance with local and global regulatory standards.

What Integrations Should a Hotel PMS System Have?

Central Reservation System: core hotel industry data to help run your hotel (note that many hotel chains have proprietary CRS systems) while independent hotels typically use off the shelf solutions.  A CRS allows your hotel to distribute efficiently via major GDS platforms like Travelport, Amadeus and Sabre

Revenue Management System: increase revenue with better rate management

Booking Engine: online booking engines display PMS inventory to take online reservations

Channel Manager: channel management software helps manage connectivity to OTAs like Expedia, Booking.com or even a vacation rentals platform like AirBnB

Hotel operations software: Your PMS absolutely must integrate with key service optimization and hotel staff collaboration software

Hotel CRM: A PMS is the nucleus of your hotel centered around inventory; however, to operate efficiently hoteliers also need a CRM system centered around guest profiles.  Your CRM must be able to pull data from your PMS to populate profiles and calculate key metrics like recency, frequency, and monetary value

* all integrations should ideally be facilitated via API in order to improve connectivity and mitigate errors or downtime

What Makes a Great Hotel Property Management System?

  1. Channel availability and integration - While hotel property management software doesn't always have an integrated channel manager, it's critical that your software vendor has a strong integration to a top rated channel manager if this functionality is not integrated. Premium vendors allow you to sync your availability to multiple channels in real-time and provide booking engine functionality. Some vendors offer an all-in-one hotel software solution that reduces the overhead of managing and learning multiple systems.
  2. Depth of reporting and analytics - In addition to basic reporting functionality, some PMS’s allow you to monitor market data, create automated rules and triggers adjust prices and provide insights related to pace, pickup, and occupancy.
  3. Group functionality - A premium PMS can scale across multiple properties and grow with your business.
  4. Check-in kiosk - In the age of covid it's critical that your hotel can facilitate contactless check-in for guests and a kiosk is one of the best ways to deliver that comfort and safety
  5. Automation - a great PMS can be programmed to automate key processes within your hotel from check-in to chargebacks and more

How Much Does a Property Management System Cost (Pricing)?

Pricing for cloud-based PMS products are typically based on how many rooms or properties utilize that system. Many PMS products have calculators on their website that will help you better understand what to expect for pricing. Be wary that some PMS systems will charge additional fees on top of monthly fees. These additional fees can include percentage commission on direct bookings, implementation/setup fees, interface fees to connect to 3rd party systems, etc.

A budget PMS starts at around $50 per month and scales upward based on occupancy and/or number of rooms. Premium pricing for a PMS starts around $200 per month for the smallest properties and scales upward based on occupancy and/or number of rooms.

Setting Realistic Hotel PMS Implementation Expectations

For most cloud-based systems, implementation can take one to three weeks depending on: how many reservations need to be imported and who is importing the data (some PMS will offer services to do this for you), the number of properties and rooms you have and any customizations you would like to add.

Implementation will typically start by setting up the application - setting up rooms, room types, adding rates, and importing/adding existing and future reservations. An implementation coach or representative may work with you through the setup process, and verify your setup. Finally, you will connect your channels or channel manager to start taking reservations. Done correctly, there is no downtime between switching systems. A good PMS will also provide access to a video training library and knowledge base of its features to help new users get started.

A successful implementation requires an initial investment in time to configure your property properly - it’s an investment that has a direct impact to the efficiency of your operations later. For example, setting up your cancellations policy now will allow you to enforce that policy later.

How do I know when it’s time for my hotel to move onto a new cloud PMS?Purchasing a new PMS is an investment in time and resources; however, there is considerable opportunity cost that needs to be considered. The right PMS can improve the customer experience by reducing errors like overbookings, improve occupancy rates by connecting your available inventory to your booking engine and channel managers, and help make your more money by letting you adjust your rates quickly- across all of your channels based on market conditions. On average, our customers enjoy an average profit margin increase of 15% after only three months. This more than pays for the investment and effort involved with migrating to a new system.

Hotel PMS Benefits

Property management software or hotel PMS is the backbone of hospitality industry operations; the PMS eliminates costly overbookings by managing room availability, coordinates with any connected channel managers to improve room occupancy, accepts payments, and performs key day-to-day functions such as transferring guests, updating room rates, and managing housekeeping tasks. The PMS can automate and improve a hotel’s business operations by providing competitive intelligence, automatically adjusting prices based on availability, and providing analytics and reporting functionality. The PMS enhances the guest experience by remembering customer preferences and sending pre and post-stay communications. Many PMS systems can also integrate with other technologies such as point of sale systems, payment processors, hardware manufacturers, and guest experience software.